Buying a new car can be an exciting time, but with plenty of options on the market, the decision can quickly become overwhelming. While we may get distracted by sleek looks and the power under the hood, finding a vehicle that gives you lots of space and allows you to pack away plenty for the weekend – without the price tag of a 4WD – is a no-brainer at the dealership. As a result, it’s no shock that SUVs have become such a popular choice for Aussie motorists. But which model should you be looking at, and should you be looking at small SUVs, or potentially mid-size or larger?
To help narrow down the search, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases a monthly report on the top-selling cars in Australia, showing which models are proving most popular on our roads. Check this page for regular updates on the best-selling SUVs, with September 2021 top-sellers listed below:
- Toyota RAV4
- Toyota Prado
- Mitsubishi ASX
- Hyundai Tucson
- Mazda CX-5
- Isuzu MU-X
- Toyota Kluger
- Subaru Outback
- MG ZS
- Mazda CX-30
#1 Toyota RAV4 – 3,390 sales
Selling under 3,400 units in September, the Toyota RAV4 is available in GX, GXL, Cruiser and Edge varieties, giving motorists plenty of choices to get behind the wheel of. Drivers can also choose from a 6speed manual or 6speed automatic for the majority of the RAV4 range, with the Edge coming equipped with an 8speed auto transmission, with 2WD or AWD options – including electric AWD – additionally available on most models.
Available with Toyota’s Safety Sense – which includes features such as Pre-Collision Safety, Lane Departure Alert, Active Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Monitors – RAV4 models primarily come equipped with a 2.0L hybrid engine, while the Edge packs a 2.5L petrol engine under the hood, suitable if you’re looking to put your foot down.
#2 Toyota Prado – 2,173 sales
One of Toyota’s more popular vehicles, the Prado sold over 2,100 units in September. Available in a number of models, including the GX, GXL, VX and Kakadu, each with 4WD and a 2.8L Turbo Diesel engine, providing plenty of grunt.
With five and seven-seat options available for families, the Prado includes Active Traction Control, Hill-start Assist and a 9inch touchscreen infotainment unit, with the Kakadu model equipped with Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, Adaptive Variable Suspension and Multi-Terrain Select to make your journey (both on-road and off-road) comfortable. With bullbars, weathershields, and roof racks also available as additional extras, the Prado would be a useful addition in any lifestyle.
#3 Mitsubishi ASX – 1,489 sales
Adding plenty of competition to the SUV market, the Mitsubishi ASX sold under 1,500 units in September. Most models come equipped with 18inch alloy wheels, LED Daytime Running Lights, a panoramic glass roof with retractable sunshade and LED mood lighting, the ASX makes each drive an experience.
The ASX also comes equipped with the Smartphone Link Display Audio system, which is connected to an 8inch infotainment touch screen, capable of making and receiving phone calls, sorting out your music as well as a variety of other creature comforts. The interior also includes steering wheel controls in addition to adjustable seats to help pack away those weekend camping essentials, with heated seats also available on select models.
#4 Hyundai Tucson – 1,416 sales
The flagship SUV model for the Korean brand, the Hyundai Tucson sold over 1,400 units in September, with a range that includes the Active, Active X, Elite and Highlander varieties for drivers to test out. With multiple engine types available across the Tucson range, drivers can opt for a 2WD or AWD model, with Hyundai additionally including Australian Tuned Suspension to suit the typical Aussie road trip.
With a Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) for increased road safety, the Tucson range also includes LED headlamps, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well as Bluetooth connectivity, with the top of the line models available with a panoramic glass sunroof and heated steering wheel for those chilly mornings. Additional features include water resistant seat covers, bike racks and a portable cooler for when you need to keep chilled drinks close at hand.
#5 Mazda CX-5 – 1,415 sales
Mazda’s flagship SUV model, the CX-5 is proving is still has what it takes in the SUV market, selling over 1,400 models for September. The CX-5 is available in multiple models , including the Maxx, Maxx Sport, Touring, GT and Akera, the CX-5 provides plenty of comfort and safety for drivers, with the 360° View Monitor and a 7inch LCD infotainment unit available on select models, with the Mazda Radar Cruise Control for additional comfort.
Now available with a turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine – capable of churning out 140-170kW of power – the CX-5 also contains i-ACTIV AWD, which utilises real time data from 27 different monitors to improve driver safety, regardless of the conditions. For those looking to put the foot down, a Kuroi Sports pack is additionally available for purchase, as are 19inch alloys and cargo illumination, to help personalise your ride.
#6 Isuzu MU-X – 1,297 sales
The only model available alongside the D-MAX, the Isuzu MU-X is a mid-size SUV that is currently in its second generation of models, after first rolling off productions line in 2013. Having sold just under 1,300 units in September, this option from Isuzu is looking to prove a popular option for motorists.
Featuring a 3L turbo-diesel engine, capable of 140kW output and 450NM of torque, the MU-X is available as a LS-T, LS-U or LS-M model variant, each of which is subsequently available as a 4×4 or 4×2 model. Depending on which model you hop behind the wheel of, you can expect features such as a power tailgate, reversing camera, remote engine start, electric park brake, sat-nav, a 4.2inch display behind the steering wheel as well as up to 20inch alloys on the LS-T models.
#7 Toyota Kluger – 1,266 sales
Another one of Toyota’s long-standing models, the Kluger – otherwise known as the Highlander overseas – is a mid-size SUV that first rolled off production lines in 2000. Now in its fourth generation, the Kluger offers an option between the Prado and RAV4 within the Japanese brand’s SUV line-up, and proves to be a popular option for motorists, selling over 1,200 models in September.
Available as a GX, GXL or Grande model, the Kluger features either a 3.5L V6 engine or a 2.5L Hybrid engine, with base models equipped with 2WD, while most of the line-up features AWD. Other features also include a 7-seat capacity, 2,000kg braked towing capacity, 18inch alloy wheels, automatic retractable side mirrors and Toyota Safety Sense technology for equal parts safety and comfort when you’re on the road.
#8 Subaru Outback – 1,162 sales
Also known as the Subaru Legacy outside of Australia, the Subaru Outback has long been a staple within the Japanese manufacturer’s line-up, first rolling off the production line in 1994. Currently in its sixth generation, the Subaru Outback has often been overshadowed by the Forester, but September proved a popular month for the SUV, with over 1,100 units sold.
Available in a base, Sport or Touring model, all Outback models are AWD, and come equipped with a direct injection four-cylinder petrol engine, capable of a 138kW engine output. Featuring 18inch wheels, 2-tonne towing capacity, brake assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Change Assist and multiple power jacks and USB charging ports, the Outback offers plenty for motorists.
#9 MG ZS – 1,161 sales
First launching in 2017, the MG ZS is a crossover SUV from SAIC Motor-owned MG, and offers the Excite, Excite Plus and Essence models for drivers to get behind the wheel of. Selling over 1,100 units in September, the ZS Excite base model includes features such as LED daytime running lights, an 8inch touchscreen infotainment unit and 17inch alloys, alongside rear parking sensors and EPS power steering.
The Excite is powered by a 1.5L engine and is front-wheel drive, while the Excite Plus switches to a 1.0L turbo engine, and contains a 6speed automatic gearbox to get you where you need to be. If you’re looking at the Essence, it features all the same specs as the Excite Plus, in addition to sat-nav, a panoramic sunroof as well as keyless start.
#10 Mazda CX-30 – 1,078 sales
First going on sale in 2019, the Mazda CX-30 is one of the newest additions from the Japanese brand, having been modelled on the fourth generation Mazda 3. Made to be the middle ground for those not sold on the slightly smaller Mazda CX-3 or larger CX-5, the Mazda CX-30 proved to be a popular alternative on Australian roads, with under 1,100 units sold in September.
Available in multiple models, including the G20 Pure, G20 Evolve, G20 Touring, G20 Astina in addition to the G25 Touring and G25 Astina, the Mazda CX-30 includes an Active Driving Display to help you keep an eye on your vitals, a 360-degree View Monitor to help keep an eye on your surroundings and Off-Road Traction to assist when you decide to go off the beaten track.
Which SUV should I buy?
While seeing what other people have bought may be a good starting place if you’re in the market for a new car, the decision will be unique to your situation, as well as your preferences. Those with a larger family may be more inclined to look at large SUVs such as the Toyota LandCruiser, while those who prefer an SUV but aren’t willing to spend big may be interested in the smaller Mazda CX-3 or Hyundai Kona.
As with any big decision, it’s best to do your research before you step into a dealership, as factors such as fuel economy, safety, technology and extras could all sway your final decision, with each brand and SUV usually available with a variety of models. Comparing SUVs may be time-consuming, but will have been worth it when you get behind the wheel of your dream car, knowing you drove away with a good deal. And if you’re looking for something a bit smaller, why not check out our guide on the best-selling small cars in Australia.
Photo Credit: Toyota